Maung Maung from Myanmar and Vuthy from Cambodia (names changed to protect their identities), though nationals of different countries, share a similar tale.
The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is an important moment to show solidarity with the many victims of human trafficking around the world.
A person cannot be a possession. A child should never be a commodity. Human trafficking is a serious crime and a gross violation of human rights and dignity.
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated the 30th of July as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness about the severity of human rights violations that trafficking victims endure and acknowledge that human trafficking is a crime that affects all countries in the world.
“I was told I could make a lot of money working on a ship and that my family was going to be paid an advance of my salary even before I started working.” Muang Muang, Myanmar
He told me I will be working in Thailand on board a vessel for six months or maybe a year. I thought why not? I am young, strong, willing to work to support my family, want to see the world, broaden my horizons, and become someone with means; someone who made it in my village!” Vuthy, Cambodia
"A successful example of the crowdfunding approach, Xiao’s case was fully funded in just 15 days by individuals from around the world."
“Twenty-three-year-old Xiao Fang is from West Kalimantan, in Indonesia. She was still a minor when she was first offered a job in a restaurant with promise of good wages in Java. Instead she was tricked and forced to work as a domestic worker in Surabaya, East Java, ultimately enduring psychological and physical abuse for six years without being paid.”
By Reuben Lim
Last week on one hot June afternoon in Bangkok, a regional conference on human trafficking took place at the Shangri-La hotel. The setting at first glance seemed nothing out of the ordinary for an event of this sort. A grand conference room in a five star hotel crowded with national delegations, NGOs and international organisations.
But one thing stood out – Microsoft, a multinational technology leader, had not only joined this conference on ICT and human trafficking but actively contributed towards shaping the conference and bringing it to life in partnership with six International Organizations including IOM, UN-ACT, UN Women, UNICEF, USAID and UNODC.
By Michela Macchiavello
Migrants, and particularly those in an irregular situation, are highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, but only a few are ever identified as victims of trafficking. During their journey, they risk injury and violence at the hands of smugglers and other criminal groups. Many also experience the hazards of unsafe travel in overcrowded boats, inside closed trucks, atop trains, or on foot through vast deserts.
(AFP Photo / Christophe Archambault)
The migrant crisis in Southeast Asia has gripped the attention of the world’s media. The human angle of these un-named thousands, on the open sea for weeks on end, has mved even the most experienced journalists. Agence France-Presse’s Christophe Archambault sailed out for an never-to-be-forgotten encounter with a boatload of migrants off the coast of Thailand. We reprint his blog by kind permission of Agence France-Presse.
By Christophe Archambault
KOH LIPE, Thailand, May 15, 2015 - For us this story began several weeks ago with the discovery of a mass grave in southern Thailand, thought to hold the bodies of Rohingya migrants smuggled into the country from neighbouring Myanmar.
The stateless Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted minorities according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands have fled Myanmar since communal violence broke out between them and the ethnic Buddhist Rakhine in 2012. Though the overall picture is murky, it is widely suspected that thousands are being trafficked out of the country on a route that runs via southern Thailand, where they are held by smugglers in squalid camps before being taken on, mainly to Malaysia.
Interview with Joe Saferius
Technical Cooperation Assistant at the IOM Vulnerable Migrants Assistance Unit
22 April 2015
“Human Trafficking is closer to you than you think but protection exists”
Human trafficking takes many forms involving coercion, deceit and exploitation. IOM recently met a victim and this is his story. The witness explained that two years ago he worked in Henganofi in Eastern Highlands Province with nine other people digging the ground in search of gold with the promise of receiving a Land Cruiser each. It was, as is common in the region, a verbal agreement based on good faith and trust in the contractor. After three months of intense hard work from sunrise to sundown, a 20 meter deep tunnel was dug and two “hair conditioner containers” were filled with gold nuggets and given to the contractor who paid the workers ten kina each, and later vanished without ever meeting his contractual obligations of compensating the workers with the promised vehicles.
Some African borders are just a dirt road used by local communities and traders for centuries.
By Marcellino Ramkishun
IOM and Tanzania are looking into ways to facilitate regular cross –border mobility and decrease irregular migration and migrant smuggling in border resident communities with the proposed introduction of Border Resident Cards (BRCs).
Communities who live on borders in many African countries today face serious challenges and are often caught between the administrative processes of two States.